Sunday, December 11, 2011

Confessions of a recovering overachiever

Sorry for the sudden lapse of silence, but after a month-long blogging challenge with my discarded characters, I've needed a little time off.

Fourteen years ago, pregnant with my first child, I had lofty visions of all the wonderful and meaningful things I wanted to do for and with mhy children. It started with a journal while still pregnant, covering everything from current events, to family history and then milestones as my children grew up. I would soon become involved with their schools, their hobbies, and all things connected to them. We would make our own christmas cards every year, by hand. We'd make Christmas cookies for family, co-workers and neighbors. We had big family birthday parties. This was all great and wonderful and everyone was happy.

However, somewhere around hitting forty I came to the conclussion I'd run out of patience and time. Year after year becomes a rush of one project leading to the next with little to no downtime in between. You may remember that last year I buried my tattered superwoman cape. This year I'm going a step further. I'm allowing myself to put my overachiever tendancies aside and join the ranks of the average.

Last month I offically put in my notice that I will not being taking on the Young Writers Program next November. I also put in my notice that I'll be stepping down from Girl Scouts as of the end of this school year. And even bigger, (because this has been one of my pet projects for eight years now) I'm handing off half my elementary christmas craft program to my new assistant whom I'm training this year. Then, after next year, I'm done with that entirely. That's three huge time-sucking programs crossed off my list. Whew!

I will also freely admit that I didn't make Christmas cards this year. We're using up extras from years past. We're cutting back cookie production to immediate family only. My christmas tree has way more ornaments on one side than the other, and yet, my normally twitchy self is ok with that. Half my outside Christmas lights didn't work this year so I threw them away and I haven't replaced them. In fact, I let the kids put the working ones up and they look pretty atrocious. Oh well.

Now if all this cutting back will give me some of this mythical "free time" to do the things I like to do for me, I'll be a happy average woman.

1 comment:

  1. Jean, I suspect "free time" is just an illusion, but the trick is to spend time on things that are meaningful to you and it's important that you have the energy for those things without feeling drained. The moment it becomes a chore, it's time to reassess. You've taken a brave step.

    BTW, there's nothing wrong with "average". The way people nowadays like to measure "success" would consign 99.99% of the population to failure. That doesn't sound right to me.

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